The Denver Post
Saying the will of the voters isn't being followed, state Sen. Chris Romer plans to introduce a medical-marijuana bill next year clarifying regulations involving pot-using patients.
The Denver Democrat said he is alarmed on several fronts, from the number of Coloradans applying for a medical-marijuana card to how many pot dispensaries are popping up in the state.
"I work out at a health club on Colfax, and the owner told me two gentlemen from California walked in off the street and offered him $700,000 in cash for his building," Romer said Wednesday. "They were going to open a medical-marijuana dispensary."
Romer said that when voters approved Amendment 20 in 2000, they thought they were authorizing medical marijuana to help people suffering from cancer and multiple sclerosis, not allowing anyone complaining of aches or pains to get a card or establishing Colorado as a pot-growing state.
The state health department is receiving an average of 600 requests a day for medical-marijuana cards, spokesman Mark Salley said.
By one estimate, there are about 100 dispensaries in the state.
Many cities and towns are studying regulations to limit dispensaries, while others have passed outright bans.
Amendment 20 allows patients who get a recommendation from a doctor and who register with the state to use medical marijuana.
"I voted for the law. I believe in the law," Romer said. "But I believe in properly implementing the law."
He said he plans to hold meetings soon with all parties — including law enforcement, caregivers and patients — to get their input on new regulations for how marijuana is grown and distributed.
"We're excited that Sen. Romer wants to clarify things, and we hope he works with the medical cannabis community to draft something we can all agree on," said Laura Kriho, spokeswoman for the Cannabis Therapy Institute in Boulder.
Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?
Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.
If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
The Denver Post